Explore the Aboriginal Rock Engravings at the Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains are home to some of Australia’s most magical scenes, with the velvet green peaks harbouring years and years of Aboriginal history. Alongside an eclectic collection of native animal species and breath-taking lookout points, the Blue Mountains have formed an important part of the country’s history that can be explored today through the series of rock engravings that are still visible.

These ancient creative sites provide a window into the past of the area’s local tribes and give visitors a chance to experience the majestic beauty of ancient art.

The Blue Mountains are peppered with important Aboriginal sites, including art sites, burial sites, caves, and shelters, some of which make up traditional men’s areas, women’s areas, and work spaces where tools were made many, many years ago.

There are a number of different sites dotted around the various landscapes in the Blue Mountains, so keep your eyes peeled as you’re exploring as you might just come across something when you least expect it.

In one particular spot, a series of engravings can be found scratched onto an ancient ledge. The artworks are thought to date back around 7,000 years and were created by different methods, including hammering, pecking, and scraping. The shapes here take on the form of animals, tools, people, and the surrounding landscapes, giving an insight into what the area might have been like in a different lifetime.

The history of the Aboriginal people that live in the Blue Mountains is rich and fascinating, with many of the tribes believing they were created from animals. This is why there are an abundance of animal artworks around the region – look out for serpents, wallabies, emus and fish.

The majority of rock art in the Blue Mountains is carved into Sydney sandstone, a type of rock that’s easy to engrave into, but fades quickly, which is why many of the etchings are often overlooked.
Before they faded, however, the local Guringai people would come back every couple of years to re-engrave their artworks to make sure they stood out against the sandstone.

As well as different types of native animal, the engravings also take the shape of the Milky Way, an etching that might have been used as a guide many, many years ago. The spots where the rock art can be found would also have been important meeting places for the Aboriginal locals, and it’s likely they held many ceremonies in these areas.

Learn more about the Aboriginal rock engravings on our Blue Mountains Tour.

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